Friday, August 7, 2009

Samoas Bars...a mixed review for this recipe...

Tried a new recipe for Friday Delight last night. I found a recipe for Samoas Bars (like Girl Scouts Samoa cookies, but in bar form) from Esi at Dishing Up Delights. They were a lot of work and were only partially successful and then, to add insult to injury, Superman forgot to take them with him to work today.

So, first the good: The flavor was amazing. Seriously, these taste really, really fabulous with the toasted coconut blending well with the caramel and the chocolate and shortbread finishing off the tastes.

Now, the not so good: The shortbread was too thick and split right through the layer, so many of the cookies have caramel coated coconut on top of shortbread without the chocolate on the bottom and then others have shortbread with chocolate on the bottom and no caramel/coconut topping. To be a Samoa, you have to have all the flavors in one bite or what is the point? Anyway, I think the shortbread layer and the coconut layer were too thick and if I make the recipe again, I will modify it from a 9 x 13 to a cookie sheet to get the layers thinner. The other possibility is that I cooked the shortbread a bit too long and maybe it was overcooked and that is why the layers separated. (Any cooks out there know the answer?) To be fair, this was my one big complaint, but it was a doozy, since I put enough time and energy into these that I wanted perfection!

I think you should check it out yourself, however, and let me know what you think.

Samoas Bars
from Dishing Up Delights

Makes 28-30 bars

Cookie Base:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12 ounces chewy caramels
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
10 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)

To make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper. (Next time, I'm using an 11 x 15 cookie sheet/jelly roll pan.)

In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together.

Pour crumbly dough into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.

Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.

Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled. * When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping).

Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off (I used a squirt bottle from the Cash & Carry) and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.

*(Okay, I did something different here. I flipped it out of the pan (it stayed in one piece) and I just put the melted chocolate all over the the bottom, then I let it cool, flipped it back over right side up and drizzled chocolate over the top of the bars, let it cool, and then I cut the bars. See how they're just one giant bar in this picture?)

Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

So, what do you think? Tempted to try them yourself? Let me know!


Melissa Henning said...

see i cant make this, because i have a problem with "letting things cool" lol. I want to dig into it as soon as it's done! Looks and sounds yummy though!

Esi said...

Sorry about the hiccups, but the looked like they turned out alright.